KLAY Community Conversations
Feb. 3, 2017
Topic:Volunteering at CPSD
District Representatives: Holly Bocchi
Holly Bocchi (Bo-key) is Clover Park School District’s family and community partnership coordinator, a position she has held for the past four years. She is a graduate of Lakes High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. She has been involved with working with families for more than 17 years. Her oldest son is a graduate of Lakes and her other two children currently attend Lakes High School.
Topic: Volunteering in Clover Park School District
- How are volunteers utilized in Clover Park School District?
Volunteers are making a difference in our schools every day in our district. We have volunteers at all levels,…preschool,…elementary school,…middle school…and high school.
However, volunteer opportunities vary at each school and at each level. We have volunteers who judge science and STEM fair projects, volunteers who work with small groups of students on reading, while others help with supervision on a playground or chaperone a field trip or a school dance.
Volunteers can serve one time, every day, once a week or even once a month. It just varies depending on the volunteer task and the volunteer’s schedule.
- Why are volunteers important in schools?
We can’t live without them! Volunteers can have a very powerful impact on students and schools. Volunteers are significant resources in helping to create a supportive and welcoming environment in schools and facilitating students’ behavior and performance.
As positive role models, are caring adults and provide additional support to students to help them become the best they can be, whether it’s in the classroom, on the athletic field or while learning new skills. Volunteers can have an impact on students staying in school and motivating them to graduate and go on to college or a career.
When students see adult volunteers who are present and take school and education seriously and respect learning, it helps them realize that what they are doing is important.
The bottom line is that volunteers are great assets to enhance our efforts to support learning and teaching for all students.
- What is the process to become a volunteer in Clover Park School District?
I encourage everyone to visit the district website and click on the parent tab and look for information on partnerships and specifically volunteering. They will find a list of volunteer opportunities available across the district.
Potential volunteers should then complete the volunteer interest survey and send it to me via email or drop it by at the district’s Student Services Center on Gravelly Lake Drive. I will use that information to “match” the volunteer with a school who needs that person’s assistance and support. We work diligently to place all interested volunteers in service; however, placement is not guaranteed.
The availability of the volunteer options varies between schools, depending on need and infrastructure.
It is also important to note that ALL potential volunteers must complete a Washington State Patrol Criminal History Screening form each school year before beginning their service in Clover Park School District. The background check is free and requires a valid drivers’ license or identification card. Again, the background check is required annually. Once a volunteer’s background check is approved, he or she can volunteer in all CPSD schools.
Overnight field trip volunteers are required to have additional training.
- Are there some “peak” times or high need times for volunteers? Are there opportunities now or coming up this spring?
Volunteers are needed year round! However, over the course of the school year, there are some times when we need more volunteers. Back to School time and the spring are very busy times for volunteering.
Right now schools are looking for volunteer judges for science or STEM Fairs. Toward the end of the school year, many schools have “field days” and volunteers are needed for those as well. Our special education department will host an event in June called Track Stars, in which most of the district’s special education students participate. It is a modified track and field event and many volunteers are needed to help run the activities and cheer on the athletes.
And, always, always, always, there is a need for reading and math helpers!
- Who typically becomes a volunteer?
I don’t know that there is a “typical” volunteer! Certainly individuals need to have the desire to volunteer and want to support student learning and they need to have the time to volunteer. Other than that we have volunteers from all walks of life, with different interest areas and skills volunteering in our schools.
- What is the difference between being a volunteer and a mentor?
Often volunteers work with several students at a time or with different students each time. A mentor works with one student on a regular basis and serves as a trusted counselor or guide to help the student succeed in school and outside of school. Often the student mentor relationship lasts several years and even through high school.
- How does one become a mentor to a student?
In Clover Park School District, we are fortunate to have a partnership with Communities in Schools of Lakewood. This organization provides mentor training and matches students with mentors. If someone is interested in being a mentor to a student, they should contact Communities in Schools of Lakewood at 253-589-7489.
- Who should people contact if they are interested in volunteering in Clover Park School District?
They should contact me! They can call me at 253-583-5043. My name again is Holly Bocchi and my number is 253-583-5043. I’m happy to talk with anyone interested in volunteering in our schools.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
Our volunteers are valuable assets to our schools and community. We appreciate their time, service and support. They really do make a difference each and every day and we just want them to know how much we value them.